Philips Applied Technologies, part of Royal Philips Electronics (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHI) announced last month the launch of the market’s first ZigBee Health Care ‘reference design’. The recent ZigBee Health Care specification now also adds medical devices to the growing list of possibilities for ZigBee Wireless Sensor Networks. The small footprint ZigBee design connects to portable, mobile and fixed products, eliminating physical cables like Ethernet. Devices have very low power consumption for long battery life of up to several years, depending on the device itself, with the mesh network design ensuring reliable coverage over a wide area. The new platform will bring economies of scale to produce Home Use Medical Devices.
The platform offers all the communication components needed to make a complete Home Use Medical Device, including an embedded hub ‘manager’. Hubs can be designed to integrate data from many sensors, and either store the data locally, or connect across a remote monitoring system to offsite servers. The data can be aggregated, processed and distributed securely at any of a number of different levels to form part of an integrated health system.
“We are very excited with the development of this new platform. It enables medical device manufacturers to develop solutions that help and stimulate people live healthier and happier independent lives. With the use of the Zigbee reference platform, data captured by these devices can be safely and robustly transmitted wirelessly to a computer or home hub device that stores the data or sends it on for remote monitoring by a clinician who could intervene should the data exhibit unexpected trends,” says Paul van Schendel, Senior Vice President at Philips Applied Technologies.